Sober living

Ask a Therapist: How Do I Know If My Drinking Is a Problem?

Not only will this fill your idle time, but you will also feel better after giving back to those in need. You can volunteer at support groups or treatment centers, but it is essential to remember that you don’t have to help out somewhere that has to do with addiction recovery. You can spend this time chasing your interests, such as giving time to an animal shelter or planting a community garden. Although you’ve noticed your friends aren’t drinking as much, you aren’t the only one to increase your alcohol intake during the pandemic. Many people are using alcohol to cope with the stress of everyday life right now.

Can stopping drinking change your life?

When you quit alcohol, your body a chance to increase serotonin without depletion, so you may actually feel happier over time. Still, improved mental health doesn't always happen immediately or seamlessly once we remove alcohol (and that's okay). Sobriety can be the starting point for confronting mental health issues.

Then, after I had a baby, drinking took the edge off my most dirty little secret—boredom. If you give up after a couple of minutes of feeling disinterested, you’ll never get into it. Sometimes you just have to persist until you overcome that initial resistance. Try picking something you want to do and sticking with it for a certain length of time no matter what.

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Talk to a trained counselor who knows about alcohol problems in older people. When combined with alcohol, cold and allergy medicines may make you feel very sleepy. Call today to get started on your journey or if you have any questions. Alcoholics Anonymous is free and available all over the country. Despite its dreary church hall image, I found the atmosphere in most meetings to be surprisingly convivial and often hilariously funny. But if you don’t fancy AA there are alternatives such as Smart Recovery and various group resources offered by the NHS. “No matter what happens to your weight,” she added, “it doesn’t indicate what’s happening to your health and well-being.”


Depending on where you live, you might be able to visit a sober bar and socialize without alcohol. Keep track of the number of drinks you have each day. There are many potential reasons to cut down on or to stop drinking. Many medicines — prescription, over the counter, or herbal remedies — can be dangerous or even deadly when mixed with alcohol. Many older people take medications every day, making this a particular concern. Dr. Kosanke thinks this is a bad habit I can basically cognitive-behavior myself out of.

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People who consistently misuse alcohol over time are also at greater risk of developing alcohol use disorder. As you grow older, health problems or prescribed medicines may require that you drink less alcohol or avoid it completely.

Why do I need to drink to have fun?

Why is drinking fun? In addition to its other effects, alcohol has a tendency to loosen up inhibitions and relax the person drinking it. For many people, especially in awkward or tense social situations, this can be just what they need to relax and enjoy themselves.

It’s very common for people, especially those with additional mental health issues like depression and anxiety, to drink out of boredom. When you are in recovery, you’ll hear many of the same tips for relieving boredom; find a hobby, join groups, take up an old, forgotten talent or hobby, go to support groups, etc. And while these are great tips, when you’re in recovery for a longer period of time, these may become boring to you too. What’s important to realize is that boredom is one of the biggest triggers for relapse. And, according to research, about one third of those in their first year of recovery will relapse. What’s more the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism reports that about 90% of those individuals who were in treatment for alcoholism relapse within four years. These statistics are somewhat discouraging but it’s important to realize that relapse doesn’t have to be a part of recovery.

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Not only will this help fight against boredom, but you will also feel better and boost your self-esteem by doing so. It can be easy to overlook specific triggers in recovery simply because you are accustomed to seeing them in your daily life. However, learning to be present through practicing mindfulness can help you slow down and identify these triggers that lead to boredom. When you practice mindfulness, you become more aware of yourself and the world around you. This allows you to identify better people, places, and things that may serve as a reminder of boredom and thus threaten your recovery. Many things can help you heal from addiction, but there are also numerous threats to your recovery that you must look out for.

  • And, more than anything else, keep staying sober as your number one goal and you’ll not only accomplish that but so much more.
  • Before you had rituals and obsessions but in sobriety you can fill those with times with daily tasks and readings.
  • And the truth is that this “just not drinking” thing is your ENTIRE JOB right now.
  • Remember to stay healthy for the fun things in life, such as the birth of a grandchild, a long-anticipated trip, or a holiday party.
  • I found that other people who exercise, especially exercising early in the morning, are not the people getting drunk every night.

The reasons people start drinking alcohol is very different than the reasons they continue to drink alcohol. Boredom and isolation are known relapse triggers for people with substance use disorders. An important way to safeguard your sobriety is to be aware of this and take steps to mitigate it.

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We lay out a blanket, I get my favorite cheese and crackers, I put music on my phone. And I just lay there quietly how to stop drinking out of boredoming life, something I used to do in college, going to parks or around campus, but I never do anymore. I certainly never did, unless there was a beer or a glass of wine in my hand.

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